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Old 06-20-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Durango, CO
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Engine: DD 6V92T
The Snowdown Bus

Hello All! I'm the proud new owner of a 1984 Orion One Shuttle Bus. I wasn't sure if this thread belonged in the coach or skoolie thread because this bus used to be used to Transit school kids in Durango and local folks up to the ski area. There is a couple of these rigs around Durango. Picked it up for $5000 from a guy who started the conversion process about a year ago. The bus was retired from the city and a couple bought it just to use for a wedding and then sold it to the guy I bought it from. Since retirement from the city it has been driven under 200 miles just around town.

The stats:
1984 Orion One Bus
168,000 miles and 21,000 hours
2-Stroke Detroit Diesel 6V92 Turbo
Allision Trans (can't find the model number?)
Tires in good condition
Air Ride
Air powered door (really fun)
Two air compressors
Diesel Heater (I believe?)
Rear ski rack box (very well built!)

She drives real nice. Surprisingly fast off the line. Cruised 60mph on the highway and pulled the steep hills around here easily. First time driving something this big and I love it! Under the bus is a massive amount of space to fit water and propane tank. The PO took all seats out, put in cork flooring (not sure if ill keep it), installed bathroom walls and composting toilet, made a bed platform, took out the rear door and replaced it with a ladder to the roof, and threw in a kitchen cabinet.

Im going to begin the conversion process, planning on wood floors, wall and ceiling, eventually a solar setup and full length rack, full kitchen, queen bed, etc.

Soon as I got it a made sure all electronic worked and did a deep exterior and interior clean. All electronics seem to work, lots of switches and whatnot.

I'm a fairly mechanically inclined person but looking at a big diesel like this is overwhelming. The PO told me that I should changed all fluids before driving it much because it has been sitting for a year with the occasional start every month. Is this a good idea? Would I be able to drain the coolant, oil and trans fluid by myself or should I pay someone to do it? Im familiar with normal cars and specifically air cooled vws but this is a whole other beast. Rough estimate on what it would cost to have someone do a fluid and filter change on a rig this big? I know the 2-stroke DD takes a specific straight oil weight.

Also trying to familiarize myself with the diesel heater under the bus. Seems to be in good condition. The bus has one massive battery but it looks like there was at one point another one.

Anyway, thanks for checking it out and the help guys! Ill hopefully be updating this forum often.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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Engine: DD 6V92T
Searched the FAQ but can't find how to rotate photos...
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
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Congrats on your bus. I think those transit buses look a lot more like an RV than a skoolie. Other than mechanical principals there's not a whole lot of similarity between transit and school buses.

Since you have some mechanical background I'd suggest doing your own fluids. I'm pretty sure they didn't mean you should drain your coolant, at least not without testing it to see if it needs changed. That is one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with your bus. You can't be sure how it was taken care of while under private ownership so it's nice to change your fluids and filters just so you know the basics are done.



Concerning photos, it works best if you simply open each photo in Windows Paint and save it once to significantly reduce the size of the file. You can easily rotate photos while there.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #4
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: International
Chassis: S1800
Engine: 9.0
If u upload from your phone, its easier to rotate them before you upload. Sweet rig! Good luck! And have fun!

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Old 06-20-2017, 03:25 PM   #5
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Year: 2001
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I'm familiar with oil testing. Can you explain more about testing coolant? When I took out the heaters on mine there was a lot of particulate in what came out. Guessing that is a decent indicator that our us tone for new coolant, but how world you know for sure?

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Old 06-20-2017, 04:29 PM   #6
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Oh auto correct... hopefully that still makes sense.

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Old 06-20-2017, 04:37 PM   #7
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The coolant issue is kind of a mute point if it was nasty and you've already dumped it. There are apparently test strips that I've never used. Some of the old guys taste the coolant by sticking a finger in it. In your case it sounds like you need to spend some time rinsing your cooling system to get the chunks out. Any thoughts of having your radiator rodded or boiled out?

Sounds like you're doing it right to me if you've already got the heaters out and floor coming up. Please take some photos of your process, as many of us are curious about the construction of that type of bus. Transit buses seem to be gaining popularity as conversion projects.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:09 PM   #8
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Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,359
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Congrats on your new bus!!!


I do have a special place in my heart for the two stroke Detroits. Gotta love them!!

Here is some good info regarding oil in the DD 2 strokes: Detroit Diesel 2 Cycle 2 Stroke Engine operating Oil Tips

Long life and reliability in these engines REQUIRES good attention to proper oil and coolant!!

Good luck!!
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:23 PM   #9
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Engine: DD 6V92T
Thanks guys! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but for some reason I definitely like the way it looks more than a school bus. Reminds me of my VW with the split window.

Thanks for that link PNW Steve I read all of it. Good stuff. Trying to find some manuals online or some pdfs of the 6V92 so I have a better understanding of it and am familiar with changing the oil.

Interior measurements:
30'1" Dash to rear window
221 square feet
7'8" interior width
6'6" Height

Bus is about 33' total with the rear ski rack installed.

How should I have radiator boiled out? Also there is a place for water in the front of the bus behinds the license plate, not sure if that's where the coolant is supposed to go or not.

Other thing is I'm not sure what the thing in the engine is that has some switches and a gauge to measure PSI. Ill included a photo of it below.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:55 PM   #10
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You've got the split window VolksUberWagon.

On your radiator you've got to make a judgement call on how plugged up you think it might be. Most of us rinse the block and radiator out as much as possible to try to get the particulate matter out and slap it back together. Good to rinse the heater cores out too if you're planning to reuse them.
If you have overheating problems you can take your radiator to the shop and have it cleaned up. Sometimes they boil them out and other times they have to be rodded.

It's almost painless.
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